Now that the dust has settled, I thought it might be useful to look at the off-year election and consider what alternative strategies might have yielded. One thing I've learned about politics is never to buy determinism; there are always a variety of possible outcomes.
Well, here's a few scenarios:
a) Terry McAulliffe was the Democratic nominee for Virginia Governor
It's what everyone expected. Would he have done better than Deeds; or was his weak primary showing evidence he'd have been roadkill in the general election?
b) Jon Corzine stands down on October 1; NJ Dems do the "Torricelli switch" to Rep. Frank Pallone or Newark Mayor Cory Booker
In retrospect, my belief that Corzine was burnt toast proved correct. It's hard to fault his campaign for his loss, the voters simply wanted him gone. But what if after using Corzine's cash to bloody up Christie the NJ Dems threw a "relief pitcher" into the race? Different outcome? Or would NJ voters reacted poorly to this strategy being used twice?
c) Deeds runs as an anti-Obama "New Democrat" ala Mark Warner; focuses on downstate VA
d) Deeds runs as a outspoken Obamabot and focuses on NOVA
The consensus is Deeds did neither well and got crushed. Would choosing one or the other have made any difference?
e) No one outside NY State comes to the aid of Doug Hoffman
The Club for Growth, Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson and Glenn Beck are credited or blamed for what happened in NY 23. Given what happened in the local state senate race in 2004, I think the NY Conservative Party was capable under its own power to ensure Scozzafava's defeat? Agree? Disagree?
And what would the national impact of a "quiet" Owens victory have been?
Throw some other possible scenarios out there. Let's reverse engineer these races if we can.